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Did Jabari Parker Deliberately Have a Lackluster Workout With the Cavs?

Duke v Mercer

Since news of Joel Embiid’s foot injury emerged last week, there hasn’t been anything concrete one way or another about whom the Cavaliers will select with the first pick in Thursday’s draft — Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins (though several have reported that the team is leaning towards Parker).

Usually generally disregarded in these types of conversations is where the players prefer to go, and there are rumors out there that Parker would rather play in Milwaukee than Cleveland; earlier today, Chad Ford wrote that some are wondering if Parker “tanked” his recent Cavs workout to give himself a better chance to fall to the Bucks:

Sources close to the Cavs told ESPN.com this weekend that the team is now leaning toward taking Parker with the No. 1 pick. However, it’s far from a lock. Parker came in to work out on Friday in front of the Cavs’ front office and ownership. Parker wasn’t great. He was a bit heavy (he weighed in at 255 pounds), didn’t shoot the ball well and got winded at times. Furthermore, two different sources told ESPN.com that Parker seemed a bit indifferent. One source said he thought Parker “tanked” the workout.

Why? A source says he strongly prefers to play in Milwaukee. The Cavs appear to be aware of this. “Jabari wasn’t himself,” one source said. “It was clear we weren’t his first option.”

It’s unclear why Parker would purportedly prefer Milwaukee — maybe it’s as simple as wanting to be closer to his hometown Chicago? — and one source’s conclusion drawn from a workout is not necessarily indicative of something Parker did deliberately. Nevertheless, Ford writes that Cleveland is still “leaning” towards picking the former Duke player because he’s more NBA ready than Wiggins, and better fits the team’s needs. A trade is also still a possibility.

Related: Charles Barkley Says Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker Aren’t Ready to Play Against Grown Men
Related: Jabari Parker Leaves Duke For the NBA, But the Blue Devils Will Still Be No. 1 in 2014-2015
Related: Dario Saric Signs 3-Year Deal with Turkey Basketball Team; Loaded NBA Draft Gets Thinner

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